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Anton Vidokle

Immortality for All: A Trilogy of Films about Russian Cosmism

Friday, November 30, 2018, 7:00-9:00pm

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Room 2

Today the Russian philosophy known as Cosmism has been largely forgotten. Its utopian tenets–combining Western Enlightenment with Eastern philosophy, Russian Orthodox traditions with Marxism–inspired many key Soviet thinkers until they fell victim to Stalinist repression. In this three-part film project, artist Anton Vidokle probes Cosmism’s influence on the twentieth century and suggests its relevance to the present day. This Is Cosmos (2014) returns to the foundations of Cosmist thought, The Communist Revolution Was Caused by the Sun (2015) explores the links between cosmology and politics, and Immortality and Resurrection for All! (2017) restages the museum as a site of resurrection, a central Cosmist idea. Combining essay, documentary, and performance, Vidokle quotes from the writings of Cosmism’s founder Nikolai Fedorov and other philosophers and poets. His wandering camera searches for traces of Cosmist influence in the remains of Soviet-era art, architecture, and engineering, moving from the steppes of Kazakhstan to the museums of Moscow. Music by John Cale and Éliane Radigue accompanies these haunting images, conjuring up the yearning for connectedness, social equality, material transformation, and immortality at the heart of Cosmist thought.

(Kazakhstan/Germany/Russia/USA, 2014-2017, 96 min., DCP)

Anton Vidokle is an artist based in New York and Berlin. As founder of e-flux and e-flux journal, he has produced projects such as the Martha Rosler Library 2005-2006, Pawnshop 2007, unitednationsplaza 2008-09 and Time/Bank 2010. Vidokle’s work has been exhibited internationally at Documenta 13 and the 56th Venice Biennale. His films have been screened at Bergen Assembly; Shanghai Biennale; Istanbul Biennial; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Berlinale International Film Festival; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Gwangju Biennale; Locarno Festival; and Centre Pompidou, among others.

This event is co-sponsored with the Gray Center, CEERES, and Film Studies.